Removing the spent grain from its production site is essential to keep Manor Vinegar’s brewing operation running smoothly. A daily co-product collection service from ForFarmers is not only helping the company to meet its challenging production schedule, it’s also bringing in additional revenue – and saved Manor Vinegar from a three-week halt in production when a serious incident occurred.
Manor Vinegar has supplied malt, spirit, distilled, speciality, and red and white wine vinegar to retailers, wholesalers and food manufacturers for over 100 years. A by-product of its operation is spent brewers’ grain, which is stored on-site in a silo. It is essential that the silo is emptied of co-products each day for the firm’s continuous operation to be maintained.
As Manor’s production volumes vary, ForFarmers’ staff communicate closely with the in-house team to predict, plan and review collection times. This ensures the drivers arrive at the optimum moment, enabling Manor to meet its rigorous production schedule. As well as ensuring smooth operation, the service also brings in additional revenue, as the co-products are sold as animal feed.
However, when a high-side vehicle collided with the silo early in 2019, it destroyed the discharge mechanism, causing the grain to spill onto the floor and leaving Manor Vinegar with a mash tun of fresh co-product. With a full order book but nowhere to store the grain from each brew, the company was forced to halt production. Initial enquiries into repairing or replacing the silo saw them facing a downtime of at least three weeks – disastrous for the business.
ForFarmers quickly took control of the situation. As the spent grain was now contaminated and in breach of FEMAS regulations, it could not be sent to farms as animal feed, so they arranged for it to be disposed of within 24 hours via land spreading. The team then turned its attention to finding a temporary silo replacement to enable Manor’s production to restart. Having visited many food and drink production sites, ForFarmers’ staff were aware of another customer that pipes their co-products directly into a trailer from the mash tun, without the need for a silo. They ascertained that the same process could be carried out at Manor’s site, and the first direct-piping test was carried out the following morning.
Despite anticipating a three-week downtime, ForFarmers’ solution proved such a success that Manor Vinegar was able to resume production just 30 hours after their silo was damaged. Manor is now back to smooth operation, with ForFarmers’ regular, reliable co-product collection service enabling them to focus on their core production process while generating valuable additional revenue.
“While keeping production running smoothly is our primary concern, knowing that we’re getting a good rate of return for our co-products – and that they’re helping the food chain by being used as animal feed – is a bonus.
Furthermore, at a really difficult time for our business, ForFarmers were full of ideas and knowledge, demonstrating their considerable experience within the food and drink industry. They really came to our rescue.”
The high anticipated Excellence in Farming Awards are back. Find out who won our categories
Utilising more slurry should be considered, but only if its nutrient value has been measured. Slurry is a good source of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), but any losses during storage need to be considered.